Will You Be My Bridesmaid? Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid? Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes.

When the time came around to ask my girls to stand beside me for the big day, I knew I wanted to make it extra special. This group of ladies has already stood by my side for close to 15 years, some even longer, so I wanted to show them just how much each of them means to me.

One quick browse on Pinterest and Instagram you will be inundated with bridesmaid “proposal” boxes.  There are companies out there who can put together the entire box for you, but I wanted to do them myself. I had a general idea of what I wanted to be included in the box, so the next step was to collect all the items and find a cute box to put it all into. Putting together these boxes can add up, especially when you have 7 bridesmaids, but hopefully there is a way to work it out to fit it within your budget, your girls will so appreciate this gesture. I shopped around for quite some time and I would say the boxes came together perfectly, and the best part: they all said YES! Read on below to see an in-depth look at what I included in the boxes and where and how I asked the girls to be in my wedding party.

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In order to customize each box, I got a personalized nail polish from Say it with Polish with each of the girls names printed on it. You should definitely check them out, their polishes are fully customizable and make for a cute addition to proposal boxes, etc.

Each polish is free of DBP, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, paraben, camphor and more. Say it with Polish polishes are Australian made and vegan friendly. Processing and shipping was really fast and each polish came beautifully packaged.

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I went for a bigger font for the main text and then did cursive writing for each of the bridesmaids’ names. You can fully customize the bottle with whatever font style and text you want, or, you can choose from a standard template on their site. I just love how these turned out, the colour is absolutely stunning and the polish is excellent quality!

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You can even get a little something for yourself!

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I’m a sucker for white polish for the spring/summer, and I just loved the cute saying on this bottle!

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I picked up some stemless wine glasses from my local dollar store and wrote the girls’ names in cursive writing in gold Sharpie. — I have a blog post on how to use these Sharpies on mugs, only difference this time, was that it was with glass! There are a lot of companies out there who will print things on glasses but they run about $15.00 and up, whereas DIY-ing it on your own costs under 5! It was fun to be able to use them when I popped some champagne to celebrate them saying yes.

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Each box also contained a card (boxset purchased from Homesense) with a personalized note inside. This is the part where you get personal and write a little (or if you’re me, a lot) about why that bridesmaid is special to you, maybe share a little memory, or your favourite thing about them. You can write as little or as much as you’d like, get creative, and dig into that big heart of yours!

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The first thing I bought months ahead of everything else when I decided to put the boxes together were these knot bracelets. I loved how dainty they were and the significance of the knot and that it would be something they could wear anytime. For my sister (my MOH) she received a rose gold knot bracelet part of Lauren Conrad’s collection for Kohl’s (I am obsessed with her whole line). The bracelets come in silver, gold, and rose gold and the price point is amazing, especially if you are buying a few of them. I was able to locate a link for them (find it below). Kohl’s typically has some sort of discount code so keep an eye open for those to save you some extra cash! For the rest of the girls they got a silver knot bracelet. I made a customized tag that I attached to each bracelet that read “I can’t tie the knot without you”.

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Shop the bracelets below!

I wanted to have bride tribe t-shirts for the whole crew so when I came across these ones from Walmart.ca . I added them to my cart right away. I tried to steer away for the most part on things labeled bridesmaid so that the girls could use it, or wear it again but I couldn’t resist including these in the box. It made it much easier and more cost-effective than ordering the t-shirt and having the font printed on it. I rolled them up and added it to the box, simple as that! These t-shirts can be worn again for bachelorettes, buck and doe’s, showers, or the morning of the wedding, it’s really up to you!

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I made a little “mark the date” card and bought cute little engagement ring stickers from Michaels to circle our wedding date.

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Walmart even had t-shirts for the bride, it’s hard to see in the picture but it has “BRIDE” written in gold.

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Now what’s a proposal box without some of the fun stuff, bubbly?! I got a 3 pack of these mini Henkell rosé bottles from my local LCBO (making them around $5 each). They fit in perfectly with the colour and theme of the box and who doesn’t love rosé?

1C9326E7-C34D-45A5-8981-79987A170A67Once I had all of my items picked out I was on the hunt for a box to put it all into. At first I thought I wanted just plain white photo boxes but I ended up finding these beautiful flotsl patterned ones at Michaels (okay, I had to go to a bunch of locations to find a complete set, but it was so worth it!) They ran about $3.00 a piece and were a better size than some of the ones that I found at the dollar store. I scooped up the crinkle paper at Michaels as well so that the contents of the box would sit in nicely.

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I was so excited putting these together and seeing the looks on the girls’ faces when I gave them their boxes was priceless.  I decided to plan a little girls’ trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake and we rented a beautiful Air B & B. I knew it would be the perfect time and place to pop the question to my girls. While we were out wining and dining in the morning, my exceptionally devoted  and patient fiancé set everything up in the beautiful English Garden of our Air B & B so that when we arrived back it was all a surprise (I know, I know, I’ve got myself a keeper!)

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I ordered this engagement ring balloon from a balloon store in town, but they sell them at all party stores and even on Amazon (more cost effective for the balloon than a party store, you just have to go get it filled!)

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My fiancé was even hiding out in the bushes with a camera like a true paparazzi snapping the most memorable pictures of their expressions! Sadly it was hard to get my girlfriends and my sister and sister-in-law altogether in NOTL without giving away the secret so I gifted the boxes to them right after.

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The moment they realized Ben was hiding in the bushes with a camera!

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All the planning around the boxes, the Air B and B, the set-up all came down to this moment. These expressions made everything SO worth it and even more memorable.

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I am so excited for the remaining 5 months of planning and celebrating with them all , and I am so lucky to have them as part of my bride tribe.

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SPOILER ALERT! We booked our plane tickets for June for the bachelorette and I could not be more excited. We are headed to San Diego, California! The fun just keeps on coming, and I hope you’ll continue to follow along with it all!

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Styling Jumpsuits for Fall!

Styling Jumpsuits for Fall!

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Now that the cooler temps have swept in and have taken over, it has it made it all the more difficult to stay warm, but still look cute. This is something year after year I have struggled with, mostly because I love the warm and love my summer closet much more than my Fall/Winter.

I found the best way to wear those adorable jumpsuits right into the fall and even winter by simply layering a long sleeve top, or chunky knit sweater underneath. I have found so much use for a lot of my jumpsuits by using this little style hack. I packed away the really light coloured, or super flowery-summer printed ones but still have a lot to work with.

Continue reading “Styling Jumpsuits for Fall!”

Butterscotch Pumpkin Spice Cheerio Bars!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Spice Cheerio Bars!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Spice Cheerio Bars

If you follow along on my Instagram you would have seen my sneak peek story on these yummy Butterscotch Pumpkin Cheerio Bars. I decided to kick-start my Fall baking early and get some recipes in before Thanksgiving weekend! Here we are, now just over a week away. After posting the bars and creating a poll, it came back as a huge success for me to post the recipe on my blog.

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Continue reading “Butterscotch Pumpkin Spice Cheerio Bars!”

Staffordable Savings: Vans Edition

Staffordable Savings: Vans Edition

Last year Vans shoes made a huge comeback and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. We’ve seen them being styled on just about every celebrity, especially in the classic black with white stripe. There are so many fun patterns and styles to choose from, but I thought I would still with a classic to add to my collection.

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One quick scroll through Instagram, or a quick search on Pinterest, you will see the many ways these versatile shoes can be worn. From joggers to ripped jeans and even summer dresses, you name it, these shoes can be rocked however you chose! They are quite similar to the Converse All-Stars which we know had their comeback a few years ago and have stuck. I have a few Converse in my collection, although find that they are not always the most comfortable for long wear. The Vans seems to have a little more material to them, and a little more cushion inside the actually sole of the shoe. Both are considered “skateboarding shoes” but don’t let that scare you away.

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I went with the classic black and white stripe as I figured they would match with just about anything. I had tried them on at a couple of stores since I wasn’t sure of my size and sometimes these style of shoes run differently than what you are typically used to.  I wasn’t surprised by the $90.00 price tag that these shoes carry, and unfortunately they are just one of those styles that don’t really go on sale, much like Converse, unless you went for a different pattern or not so typical colour.

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It was then that my “Staffordable Savings” brained turned on. I had searched online to see where the shoes were available, and to see if the prices varied among them at all. Not to my surprise at all, they all ran about the same price-tag. I then began looking at the kids section, if you are lucky enough to fit into kid’s sizes you will be so surprised at how much money you can save on shoes! My size runs anywhere from about an 8 to an 8.5 depending on the fit and style. I went to a store to try on a kid’s size first, before ultimately placing an order online.

Now while mine differ a little bit from the classic Van’s Oldskool which are what I was initially looking for, the Van’s Ward look so similar, the difference is ever so slight. Women’s sizing runs typically 1.5 sizes larger than a youth size. Since I typically wear an 8-8.5 I went with a kid’s size 6 and they fit perfectly!

To show you an example of how much I saved by going with a kid’s size, in a slightly differently style I have compared them below:

Van’s Old Skool (Men or Women’s)- $90.00

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Van’s Ward (Women’s)- $84.00

Van’s Ward (Kid’s)- $62.00

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The savings don’t end there! There are a lot of welcome membership promotions that if you sign up for emails you can receive 10-15% of your first purchase. It’s not much, but it takes off the tax and hey, it’s saving you money so why not! On top of my 10% discount promo from signing up with The Shoe Company, I also made my purchase through Ebates which got me back another $5.00 off my total purchase. All in all, my shoes went from being $90.00 to just over $50.00 (just about half the price!)

Sometimes it pays (literally) to search around, browse for the best deals, and look for coupons and other promo codes that can be applied at checkout!

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Hope you enjoyed!

xoxo,

Staffordable

50’s Flashback Photoshoot

50’s Flashback Photoshoot

Sometimes life doesn’t work out exactly as planned, and sometimes, when it doesn’t, it means that better things are coming your way. Sometimes, you just have to let go, go with the flow, and know that everything will and does work out. Those last few words are a few that my fiancé repeats to me, and are things that he is really good at and what I really admire about him.

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate how this bouquet is pastel perfection!

So, when I had a shoot “perfectly” planned for us, and our shooting location shut down unexpectedly, it was on to plan b. The problem was, there was no plan b, a big no no on my part. I was so set on  this specific photo-shoot location, I planned my outfits around it, and thought everything was going to be just perfect. When Krenare, our photographer messaged me 10 minutes before we were supposed to meet telling me that news you could imagine my disappointment.  I really had to think quick on my feet and find somewhere that we could shoot indoors (the weather was not on our side that day).

Luckily, I had recently seen some pictures of the most adorable doughnut shop on Instagram, and it was the first thing that popped into my mind. So, on our way to meet with the photographer I called the doughnut shop (which was down the road from our initial spot) to make sure they were okay if we came in and took some pictures.  When they said yes, that panic was all of a sudden swept away with a huge feeling of relief.

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Now while I was upset that the initial location didn’t work out, and that the weather didn’t exactly cooperate with us for outdoor photos, I cannot believe how amazing and perfect the shots that we got turned out. It really goes to show you that things really do work out, and to not stress the small things.

The shoot location was so inspiring that it also was what helped me land on the theme for my birthday party this year. Every year, I plan a party, where everyone comes in costume, and I decorate and serve food and drinks according to the theme. After this shoot, I fell in love with the 1950’s so much so, that I have even been purchasing a lot of retro items of clothes–lucky for me, the retro theme hit stores HUGE, and came perfectly timed for my party (early birthday gift, I think so!) The pastels, the polka dots, the full swing skirts, I could just go on and on about how much I love all of it!

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It helped having an amazing and patient photographer and THE cutest retro doughnut shop to shoot at.

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I am so excited to share with you guys our little couples shoot, because really, no matter where the pictures were taken, it was always about love, and that would shine through wherever we went.

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This was my first time visiting Daddy O Doughnuts, and I can assure you it won’t be my last. I’m not a huge fan of doughnuts, or sweets in general really, so when I actually enjoyed my ‘Homer Simpson’ doughnut, you know it had to be good. My financé of course was happier than a kid in a candy store when he found out the new shooting location and that eating of doughnuts would be involved. It really was a win win for everyone involved.

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A special thank you to everyone who made this shoot so special, these are a few pictures that are a keepsake to remind me everyday why I love my fiancé, and how he’s helping shape me into a better person.

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Stay tuned for lots of behind the scenes and for highlights from my Retro/50’s Diner themed birthday party coming up in less than a week! You can follow along on my Instagram to see what I’m up to leading up to the day, and of course, lots of day of sneak peaks!

Location: Daddy O Dougnuts , Photographer: Krenare Ali, Makeup: Facetime With Daniela ,Makeup: Hair Addictz StudioFlowers: Blossom Moments

xoxo,

Staffordable

La-La-Lavender Land

La-La-Lavender Land

Goodbye millennial pink, HELLO lavender. Okay…maybe not goodbye forever, but so long for now, because shades of purple are taking over in 2018! 

When Pantone announced  Ultra Violet as 2018’s colour of the year, we began seeing it, along with different swatches of purple popping up on Spring/Summer runways, decor, etc. I for one am loving every minute of it, it’s it’s such a refreshing shade for Spring! 

When Bench Canada asked me to partner up with them, and I saw these lovely lavender pieces, I knew I had to have them and style them! The soft fleece zip-up sweater and bouclé jacket were perfect for a chilly day in Montreal. I topped the look off with my favourite winter accessory (a pom-pom hat)– in the matching lavender shade to boot! 

All sale items are an additional 60% off and selected New Arrivals at 40% off right now!

Head to toe lavender, I LOVE how this look came together! I’ve styled it 3 different ways to show you how versatile the pieces are! 

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The standing collar worked great as a neck warmer, and was perfect for the cold! I loved the asymmetrical zip, added a little different element to the jacket! It also has thumb holes on the cuffs (bonus WIN!)

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Don’t mind my big winter boots- it was cold, and snowy and we walked around ALL day!

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Not only perfect for outside, but it was the perfect coat to throw over inside this adorable café

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Safe to say I’ll be living in this sweater for the rest of Winter into Spring!

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When your sweater matches the sunset (SWOON!)

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I hope you enjoyed this look and hop on the purple bandwagon for Spring, you won’t be disappointed!

Clothing c/o Bench Canada: Jacket, Sweater , Pom Pom Hat (Similar).  Pants- Banana Republic, Sunglasses- Quay Australia 

Pastel Pink Candy Apples & Halloween Bar Cart

Pastel Pink Candy Apples & Halloween Bar Cart

What’s better than candy apples you ask? Pastel pink candy apples of course! You won’t feel as guilty indulging in these treats after all, they’re made of fruit so they’re partially good for you, right?! You will definitely want to add these to your Halloween desserts when you find out just how easy these are to make!

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Traditional candy apples are made up of a mixture of corn syrup, water and sugar that are boiled until they’re the perfect and sticky consistency for dipping. MAJOR TIME SAVING HACK: use candy melts (available at Michaels and Bulk Barn), melt them in the microwave or double- boiler on the stove, dip your apples, and VOILA! Just like that, in a few minutes you will have beautiful “candy” apples!

What you’ll need:

*Green Apples, plastic twigs (I got mine from Michaels), you could use real ones, or candy apple sticks

Candy Melts (in the colour of your choice) + any other sprinkles or toppings you want to put on your apples

Wax Paper (once your apples are dipped place them on wax paper for easy removal)

Cake stand or platter to display your beautiful apples!

 

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Every holiday or special occasion I style my bartcart, it is so much fun to do and you can really get as creative as you want with it!  This year I used the apples as the centerpiece and went from there with decorating the rest. I opted for a black and white theme which really made the pink apples pop!

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Here’s a look at my final styled bar-cart, how cute do the pop of pink apples look on here?!

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These 3- ingredient pumpkin bites were a huge hit! All you need is peanut butter, softened butter, icing sugar, and a little bit of food colouring! Top with a chocolate chip and use a toothpick to make the indents and you’re all set! IMG_2297IMG_2296IMG_2295

Here’s my second styling- I kept with the black and white theme and made a simple vanilla cake with Oreo (eyes) and a surprise purple colour inside!

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Mini Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

Mini Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

Nothing says Fall or Thanksgiving quite like pumpkin pie! These little sugar cookies pack a huge bite of the pumpkin pie you know and love. The added hint of cream cheese is the icing on top of a perfect pie!

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Prep- 40 minutes Total-1 hr 25 Serves-36

Ingredients
Cookie Base
• 1 package of Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix
• Butter and egg as directed on cookie mix package

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 brick of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Topping

  • Betty Crocker™ cream cheese frosting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray (I used mini ones).
  2. Make the dough as directed on the package.
  3. Press approximately 1 1/4 inch balls evenly into the bottom of the pan going slightly up the sides. Make a deep enough well so you the pie filling fits inside.
  4. Mix Pumpkin Filling ingredients in s medium sized bowl with a whisk until smooth.
  5. Spoon a small amount into the each cookie filled muffin tin and spread evenly.
  6. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown and the filling has set.
  7. Both the cookies and the filling will be soft, let cool for 10 minutes in the tin.
  8. Very carefully remove and place on a wire rack to cool and harden.
  9. Using a small plastic bag, add cream cheese frosting and cut a small piece from the tip of the bag. Pipe a small amount onto each pie and sprinkle lightly with pumpkin spice.

*Refrigerate the cookies in a container or wrapped in plastic wrap.

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Enjoy your minis, these are the perfect bite size treat to bring to the table for Thanksgiving!

xoxo,

Sara

Motel Hamilton- Restaurant Review

Motel Hamilton- Restaurant Review

The new (and adorable) little Sister to School Toronto is Motel Hamilton. After some major construction, transformation, and face-lifting, Motel Hamilton officially opened its doors on June 9, 2017. It is slated to be, if not already is, one of the hottest brunch spots in Hamilton. With its Palm Spring’s decor, delicious food and drink menu, you will forget you’re only about an hour outside of Toronto.

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If you’re looking for a new place for brunch/lunch in the Hamilton area, go check-in to Motel, you’re sure to enjoy your stay, I know I did!

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When you pull up to the restaurant, you will see the adorable little pastel pink MOTEL sign, and until you walk in (or peak in the window) you wouldn’t really look twice at it. The second you walk in you are instantly hit with Palm Springs motel chic, the smell of delicious food, and the enthusiasm and smiles of the staff!

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Before all the hype began and bloggers and foodies from allover began flooding into Motel Hamilton I was lucky enough to visit shortly after it first opened. Lucky for me, this meant it was less busy, making for optimal photo-shooting time.

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The pastel pink walls, palm leaves, and little motel details really transform this restaurant into a work of art!

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An old pastel pink rotary phone sits at the “front-desk” otherwise known as the “lobby bar”.

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Neon lights are popping up all over the place lately, I love the quirky little detail and homage to a real motel of this one!

We were seated instantly and started off with drinks. The speciality drink menu  (The 5 O’cocktails)  isn’t extensive, but the regular drink menu has everything you would need and more. The cocktail menu drinks run at $12.00 a glass or “Motel-sized” for an extra $2.50. Of course, seeing the Flamingo Sangria I knew immediately I would be ordering that. My boyfriend went with a twist on a classic Caesar and got the Bacon Bourbon Caesar. Once we received our drinks I began taking some pictures, because who could resist photographing cocktails like these?

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Since it wasn’t too busy, one of the staff asked if we’d like to move over to the white table as it was “better for pictures”. I couldn’t have agreed more, and immediately jumped at the opportunity. I was glad he did because my plated food pictures turned out 100% better because of it. There’s something about food on a sleek white table that really grabs the attention to your followers and is proven to be visually more effective.

THE DRINKS

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I’m not a fan of super sweet/sugary cocktails but this sangria had just the right amount for me, with a good mix of bubbly!

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I seriously could have stayed and ate (and drank) here all day, the decor was serious goals!

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Taking a sneak peak at the decor before hand on Instagram, I knew exactly what I was going to wear! I’m a huge fan of themes, so when I saw the pastel perfection and Palm Spring’s decor at Motel Hamilton ,there’s no way I wasn’t going to incorporate palm leaves and flamingos (always) into my outfit! One of the staff members even complimented my outfit and said it was matched perfectly with the decor (success!)

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THE FOOD

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In keeping with traditional brunch, I went for the Charred & Smashed Avocado Croissant (because, avocado, always!) It came with a side of tasty kale salad! The croissant was very fresh, and the eggs were perfectly cooked. They even stayed good after all the pictures I had to take of my food first!

My boyfriend, being the boy that he is, went for the ultimate match made it brunch heaven, chicken and waffles. The waffle was topped with vanilla honey butter, a sweet and salty sauce, and buttermilk fried chicken. While I’m not a fan of waffles, fried chicken has a large part of my heart, so I tried some of his. It was perfectly spiced and battered with undoubtedly moist chicken!

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The food was so yummy and so visually appealing that they basically photographed themselves!

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HELLOOOOOO PINK WALLS!

I would without a doubt recommend this restaurant and can’t wait to go back and visit again!  There were lots of items on the menu I had my eye on, saving them for the next time knowing I would be back.

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Thanks for stopping in!

Head over to my  Instagram to follow along my tasty and fashionable journey!

xoxo,
Sara